Sustainable living is the act of making lifestyle choices that will have a positive impact on the near – and far – future of our planet. Those choices can be small, like using paper instead of plastic straws, for example. Each action adds up to create a big impact. The more people make the right choices daily, the bigger the results over time. So, why not join the thousands across the nation choosing more sustainable living practices? Here are 20 easy ways to get started.
Sustainable Living: 20 Quick Tips
- Say Goodbye to Plastic: This does not have to be an all-or-nothing venture. Simply choose a non-plastic option as the opportunities present themselves. This means bringing your own metal straws (many come in a carrying case so you can take them home and wash them), bringing reusable bags when shopping, and replacing worn-out plastic food containers with lightweight metal or glass ones.
- Think Twice About Purchases: That exotic coffee or chocolate tastes great but is it sustainably and ethically sourced? A quick online search will help you improve your consumer habits.
- Walk When You Can: If the shopping mall, coffee shop, or theatre is close by, choose walking (if and when safe to do so) over driving. In addition to reduced emissions, walking will help you stay fit.
- Get a Reusable Water Bottle: With so many cute and even personalized options on the market, this is a fun and easy way to keep plastic water bottles out of landfills.
- Cook at Home: Not only will you save money, but you will also reduce emissions from not driving to the restaurant, and it is easier to make healthier food choices as well. Plus, you won’t be using plastic take-out containers and plastic cutlery. Don’t like to cook? Try one of the many meal kit options where all you have to do is assemble the components. Alternatively, invest in a slow cooker or Instant Pot®.
- Have a Vegetarian Night Once a Week: This is a great way to consume more plant-based foods and get to know some interesting fruits and veggies while reducing emissions caused by the production and transportation of meat.
- Buy Less: The more you have, the more resources it takes to maintain your goods. Do you really need another pair of jeans? The latest kitchen gadget? Take stock of what you have and reduce your consumerism. In addition to more sustainable living, this also means more money in your pocket.
- Grow a Garden: You would be surprised how much yield you can get from a very small garden plot or even a container garden on a balcony. Besides, nothing beats fresh produce, especially when you don’t have to worry about pesticides or drive to the store to get it.
- Upcycle: A lot of goods can be repurposed instead of discarded.
- Thrift: Resell stores have more than just clothing. They are an excellent place to find new-to-you books, artwork, and craft supplies. Try a thrift store for those who want to outfit their kitchen without paying the high cost of a new Staub Dutch oven or Lodge cast iron pan. Items like those can be passed down for generations because they retain their value and improve with age.
- Advocate: Like to write or speak publicly? Attend forums, write letters to politicians, and engage (sensibly and respectfully) in online discussions about climate change and sustainability.
- Give up Smoking: It’s not just plastics littering the earth. Cigarette butts number in the trillions around the globe, and they have trace amounts of lingering toxins that negatively affect the environment.
- Choose Sustainable Fish: Not all seafood is caught or harvested in sustainable ways, and some sea life is in danger of extinction. Choose wisely and responsibly.
- Take Photos on Vacation and Make a Digital Album: Tourist locations are fun to visit, but they typically come with a side of mass-produced merchandise. Instead of another bauble for the mantle, take photos with your digital camera or phone. Then make a digital album that you can share with friends and family.
- Lower Your Energy Bill at Home: Program your thermostat and take advantage of natural light and fresh air by opening the windows. Invest in Low-E windows and doors, use a convection oven instead of the range to heat up or cook small meals and use Energy Star-rated appliances.
- Frequent the Farmers Market: Visit your local farmers market for hand-made goods, fresh produce, meat, and eggs. These goods are produced locally and have short transport (reduced emissions). Besides, going to the farmers market is a lot of fun!
- Donate Unwanted Goods: What has no further use to you may be an item someone else wants. Gently used furniture and clothing are highly sought after by thrifters, upcyclers, and those looking for goods without a premium price tag.
- Reduce Water Usage: Install low-flow toilets and be mindful of wasted water usage (avoid running the shower for a long time before getting in or leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth) to save money and water. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge instead of running the tap.
- Solar Energy: Solar has come a long way, from small solar charging panels for RVs and electronics to large panels that power homes. Check into the small or large ways solar can work for you.
- Live Mindfully: Mindfulness means living fully present in the moment. When we do this, we automatically make better choices because we are more in tune with ourselves and our place in the world.
Sustainable living does not have to be a massive life change. There are many small ways to start taking action today. At Guardian Storage, we help support your sustainable living goals. Talk to us about storing your off-season items and décor, your valuable goods, and more. When your home is clutter-free, and you can reuse items such as Christmas or Halloween décor, you are well on your way to sustainable living for the long term. Visit our blog for more lifestyle tips.